Interns are expected to demonstrate clinical competencies necessary to function as a clinical neuropsychologist by the completion of the training year. Ongoing evaluations clarify strengths and weaknesses for the intern related to six educational goals of the training program. Increasing competence is expected as the training year progresses.
Supervisors will submit a semi-annual formal evaluation of the intern’s progress. The evaluations will be required after completion of six months of the internship and again just prior to the completion of the internship. The Director of Training will provide an evaluation form to the supervising psychologist. The supervisor will complete the form, which will be discussed with the intern. Both the supervisor and the intern will sign the evaluation form. Interns will be given the opportunity to respond to any comments made by the supervisor with which they disagree and those responses will be made part of the evaluation. Evaluations should be based on an accurate appraisal of the student’s work. Supervisors are encouraged to observe patient contacts on a regular basis. There should be on going communication between the intern and his/her supervisor throughout the year addressing the intern’s strengths and weaknesses. The results of the semi-annual evaluation should represent the feedback the student has been receiving throughout the year.
These 12 competency areas are evaluated:
- Relationship and Interpersonal Skills
- Assessment/Diagnosis/Case Conceptualization
- Intervention Skills
- Consultation Skills
- Interdisciplinary Collaboration Skills
- Diversity-Individual and Cultural Differences
- Management and Administrative Leadership Skills
- Supervisory Skills/Teaching
- Reflective Practice and Self-Assessment
- Scientific Knowledge and methods
- Research and Evaluation
The Director of Training will review the evaluations.
If the evaluation reveals that an intern is having minor difficulties at the internship site, the Director of Training may; (a) obtain more information from the supervisor, (b) meet with the Manager of LG Health Physicians Neuropsychology to discuss the nature of the difficulties, and/or (c) discuss the difficulties with the intern. If an intern appears to have significant difficulties, the following process will be initiated:
- The evaluation will be presented to the clinical staff of the department. A preliminary determination will be made as to whether the difficulty appears to be of a long-standing nature or specific to this particular internship site. Contacting the intern’s University Clinical Director may be an option in attempting to determine the scope of the problem, especially if it is suspected that it is of a long-standing nature.
- Based on the recommendation of the clinical staff, the Director of Training and the student may be required to develop a remediation plan to address the specific area(s) of difficulty and submit such plan to the clinical staff for review and monitoring. The school’s clinical director will be notified of the areas of difficulty and the proposed remedial plan.
- Failure to successfully resolve the area(s) of difficulty could result in an unsatisfactory completion of the internship and/or termination of the internship.
- If the Intern fails to complete the internship successfully and termination from the internship is recommended, the Intern can initiate the grievance procedure.
Within each skill area, the intern is rated along a continuum:
Novice—Novices have limited knowledge and understanding of (a) how to analyze problems and of (b) intervention skills and the processes and techniques of implementing them.
Intermediate—Psychology interns at the intermediate level of competence have coped with enough real situations to recognize some important recurring meaningful situational components, based on prior experience in actual situations. Generalization of diagnostic and intervention skills to new situations and patients is limited, and support is needed to guide performance.
Advanced—At this level, the intern can see his or her actions in terms of long-range goals or plans of which he or she is consciously aware. At this level, the psychologist is less flexible in these areas than the proficient psychologist [the next level of competence] but does have a feeling of mastery and the ability to cope with and manage many contingencies of clinical work.
Proficient—The proficient psychologist perceives situations as wholes rather than in terms of chopped up parts or aspects. Proficient psychologists understand a situation as a whole because they perceive its meaning in terms of longer-term goals. The proficient psychologist learns from experience what typical events to expect in a given situation and how plans need to be modified in response to these events.
Expert—The expert no longer relies on an analytic principle (rule, guideline, and maxim) to connect her or his understanding of the situation to an appropriate action. The expert psychologist, with an enormous background of experience, now has an intuitive grasp of each situation and zeroes in on the accurate region of the problem without wasteful consideration of a large range of unfruitful, alternative diagnoses and solutions. The expert operates from a deep understanding of the total situation.
Not available (N/A)—When supervisory ratings of an intern’s performance indicate that the intern is performing below the expected level of proficiency in several domains or not achieving the core competencies required from each section of the intern evaluation, the intern is placed on probation. A written plan of corrective action is initiated by the supervisor and training directors. The intern is evaluated on a more frequent basis (i.e., monthly) until either adequate performance is achieved or the intern is terminated.
When interns have successfully met the above competencies within a given training year, a certificate of completion is conferred.
Requirements for Completion
- Current enrollment in an APA-accredited doctoral psychology training program
- Completion of all coursework for the doctoral degree
- Passed doctoral comprehensive examinations
- Approved by the applicant’s chairman to apply for internship
- Completed a minimum of 1000 hours of supervised practicum in a clinical setting
- United States Citizenship or permanent visa status or a signed declaration of intent to become a U.S. citizen is required.
Furthermore, given its stated goals and expected competencies, the program is expected to provide information regarding the minimal level of achievement it requires for interns to satisfactorily progress through and complete the internship program, as well as evidence that it adheres to the minimum levels it has set.